What are the objectives of a SuSanA Working Group?

  • annetempel
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What are the objectives of a SuSanA Working Group?

Dear SuSanA working group leads and members,

in an effort to update the description of WG 2 (Market Development), Jonathan Parkinson has come up with a bullet point list of objectives and aims of a SuSanA Working Group.

I think it is great to have such a list of general objectives, and each Working Group can add their specific objectives to this general description.

On the Working Group page on the SuSanA Website we don't have any definition of the objectives of the Working Groups so far www.susana.org/en/working-groups/overview

Here is the drafted list and we welcome any feedback, comments and amendments:

Objectives of a SuSanA Working Group


1) Knowledge, research and learning

o share experiences and prepare case studies.
o capacitate WG members for the topics of WGs
o prepare factsheets / publications / practical guidance
o be a sounding board and provide feedback about ideas and activities raised by WG members


2) Networking, collaboration and partnership, and
o promote networking, exchange and help people to connect
o develop/strengthen partnership and collaboration both with other sanitation sector people but also people involved in the non- WASH sector
o organise and encourage active participation in events (off line and on line)
o provide links to other networks and community of practices

3) Policy and advocacy.
o raise questions and concerns and identity key programmatic / policy issues
o raise awareness and advocate for the topics of the WG


Looking forward to reading your feedback,
Anne (on behalf of the SuSanA Secretariat)

GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Programme
Division for Climate Change, Environment & Infrastructure



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  • muench
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Re: What are the objectives of a SuSanA Working Group?

This is a very good initiative!
So far, we had only this information regarding the objectives of the working groups:

Within SuSanA several thematic working groups have been established in order to cover a variety of different sanitation aspects and to provide outputs that underline the problems and opportunities of these aspects.


So I like the idea of going into more detail for the objectives (and the possible tasks).

My comments about the proposal so far:
  • Could it be made clearer where generic objectives and perhaps specific objectives of a WG are differentiated? Perhaps by filling this in for one WG as an example (WG 2?).
  • I don’t think “prepare case studies” is really an objective – has never happened in the past. This could just be part of the third bullet point on “prepare publications”.
  • I don’t understand what is meant with "capacitate WG members for the topics of WGs"?
And these could be additional tasks that could be placed under one of the objectives:
  • About once a year assist with identifying Top 10 key documents for the topic of the WG (and identify important website links as well)
  • Assist with ensuring that library content ( www.susana.org/library ) for the WG is up to date and that the filters are set such that a manageable number of important documents can easily be filtered for, if someone uses the filter for the topic of that particular WG. - Perhaps a maximum of 50 documents related to that WG (i.e. having the tick in the background for the filter) would be a good number? Or 100? So far the filters in the library for some of the WGs gives around 200 documents which is perhaps less helpful.*
  • Use the SuSanA forum from time to time to make announcements regarding a change in WG lead, upcoming meetings, minutes of meetings; do this in conjunction with WG mailing lists which the WG leads can also use to engage with the members.
If you wonder how many members each WG has at present, you can see the figures here (the WG numbers are explained here: www.susana.org/en/working-groups/overview ):



If you're unsure which WG you have ticked or if you want to change your WGs, then just log into the SuSanA website here at the top left: www.susana.org/en/ (using the name user name and password as what you use for the forum).

Regards,
Elisabeth

* For example, this is the result that you get when filtering the SuSanA library for WG 7 (remember the filter is that green button at the top right of this page: www.susana.org/library ):
www.susana.org/en/resources/library?vbl_...5D=&vbl_8%5B44%5D=44
i.e. 190 documents

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  • jonpar
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Re: What are the objectives of a SuSanA Working Group?

With respect to the distinction between generic objectives and perhaps specific objectives, the idea was that WG leads can use these suggestions as the basis for coming up with some specific objectives related to their WG. The specific objectives would need to be discussed and agreed upon with active members of the WG and hopefully less active members of the WG would also become more engaged in the activities of the group.

Linked to this was my suggestion was that each group sets itself one objective to aim for each year that relates to each of the 3 categories :

1) Knowledge, research and learning
2) Networking, collaboration and partnership
3) Policy and advocacy.

I don't think we can be overly ambitious but it would be really good if each WG aimed to produce something, achieve a specific outcome or organise/participate in a relevant event. I know it's hard and we may be setting ourselves up to fail, but if we don't at least give it a go, then we can't really refer to ourselves as a "Working group".

Elisabeth is right to say that "prepare case studies” is a type of publication. I was trying to make a distinction between a "case study" and a "technical guidance note/brief."

An activity to "capacitate WG members for the topics of WGs" could be learning event - could be a webinar or something like that ?

"Identification of Top 10 key documents for the topic of the WG" and "Assist with ensuring that library content" would be linked to "Knowledge, research and learning". These and "Use the SuSanA forum from time to time to make announcements ...... " are relatively straightforward and I think all WG's should be able to achieve these successfully without too much effort.

best regards, Jonathan

Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
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  • scottchen
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Re: What are the objectives of a SuSanA Working Group?

Dear Jonpar:
I agree with you that we must have a specific objectives, such as promoting the establishment of a new eco-city to ecosan principles.
best wishes
Scott

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Re: What are the objectives of a SuSanA Working Group?

Dear Jonathan,

I agree with everything you said. How could this now be taken forward? Maybe it would help if you led the way and set up (or propose) the new objectives for the Working Group that you lead, Working Group 2 on market development?

Do you envision that the objectives (and tasks?) list would be displayed (and regularly updated) here?:
www.susana.org/en/working-groups/market-development

Or perhaps rather in a SuSanA-Wiki page so that it gets easier to edit it by several people?

I noticed that Dorothee put a call out to her Working Group about their objectives, but didn't get a response yet:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/54-wg-...capacity-development
(using the working group mailing list in conjunction with a forum post might yield more responses).


Dear Scott,
You said

I agree with you that we must have a specific objectives, such as promoting the establishment of a new eco-city to ecosan principles.


Actually, I don't see such an objective as being all that suitable for a SuSanA working group. It could be the objective of some SuSanA partners or members but not of a SuSanA working group. "Eco-city" is kind of a buzz word (particularly in China?), and why a new eco city? If anything I would work towards converting or improving existing cities to become more sustainable (whether it's via "ecosan principles" or not, depends and cannot be generalised). Anyhow, perhaps a discussion to be had with members of Working Group 6 on cities? ( forum.susana.org/forum/categories/59-wg-...-cities-new-co-leads )

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • annetempel
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Re: What are the objectives of a SuSanA Working Group?

Dear all,
Thank you so much for your reactions – I think it’s an impressive list of objectives and opportunity areas!
I have added another line about the thematic discussion series (TDS).
TDS can be a useful tool for WGs to move the topic of the WG forward, to discuss hot topics and to produce an output (synthesis document of the discussion) to improve knowledge management.
WG 2, for example, was already involved in the TDS about urban sanitation finance: www.susana.org/en/resources/thematic-dis...n-sanitation-finance

Please find the updated list of WG objectives below.

Kind regards,
Annkathrin (on behalf of the SuSanA secretariat)


1) Knowledge, research and learning
  • share experiences
  • capacitate WG members for the topics of WGs e.g. organise learning events such as webinars or thematic online discussion on the SuSanA Forum (TDS)
  • prepare publications such as factsheets, practical guidance, case studies
  • be a sounding board and provide feedback about ideas and activities raised by WG members
  • Assist with identifying top 10 key documents for the topic of the WG (and identify important website links as well)
  • Assist with ensuring that library content ( www.susana.org/library ) for the WG is up to date and that the filters are set correctly

2) Networking, collaboration and partnership
  • promote networking, exchange and help people to connect
  • develop and strengthen partnership and collaboration both with other sanitation sector people but also people involved in the non- WASH sector
  • organise and encourage active participation in events (off line and on line)
  • provide links to other networks and community of practices
  • use the SuSanA forum from time to time to make announcements regarding a change in WG lead, upcoming meetings, minutes of meetings
  • use the WG mailing lists which the WG leads can also use to engage with the members.

3) Policy and advocacy.
  • raise questions and concerns and identity key programmatic / policy issues
  • raise awareness and advocate for the topics of the WG

GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Programme
Division for Climate Change, Environment & Infrastructure



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  • dorothee.spuhler
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Re: What are the objectives of a SuSanA Working Group?

Dear all

I have launched this discussion also for the Working Group 1 and asked:
“What are the objectives of SuSanA Working Group 1 on Capacity Development?”
Working Group 1 has a special positions because of two main reasons:
  • it provides services that are directly relevant for and should link to activities of other working group and SuSanA task forces
  • many activities are overlapping with the responsibilities and activities of the SuSanA secretariat at GIZ (mainly the activities related to knowledge management)
I am interested to see, how we better can use the different groups of members in order to support as well as to complement the efforts of the secretariat in the framework of our goals (see original post for the statement of the goals with the link provided below): forum.susana.org/forum/categories/69-rel...susana-working-group

Kind regard,
Dorothee

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